Characteristics of Sea Banyan Tree (Ficus superba) in the Wild

Ficus superba
Sea Banyan (Ficus superba) is a species of hemiepiphytic tree of the genus Ficus. Sometimes the tree is difficult to distinguish from a Strangler Banyan (Ficus annulata) because of its similar growth characteristics and shape.

Just like other brothers of the genus Ficus, sea banyan trees can also grow as hemifipifit (ride on another tree) and eventually grow larger by absorbing nutrients from the trees they are riding. Until in the end the tree that he was traveling with died.

Sea banyan trees are found on the seashores and the edges of swamps or rivers in Japan, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Generally, this sea banyan tree is side by side with other moist trees such as Sea Hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus). But he is also sometimes found in wet forests.

In Indonesia, the sea banyan tree is often referred to as the “Kresek” tree, because this tree grows in the Krasak Village, Kedungjajang District, Lumajang Regency, East Java.


Characteristics of Sea Banyan Leaf

Ficus superba Leaf
Source : ; Ng

The sea banyan leaves are oval in shape, large and have long leaf stalks. It grows arranged at the end of branches or twigs with yellowish leaf ribs.


Characteristics of Sea Banyan Fruit

Ficus superba Fruit
Source :

The fruit is in the form of a small berry and clustered on the top branch. The fruit looks the same as fruits from another genus Ficus, for example, Chinese Banyan (Ficus microcarpa).

When young the fruit is green, and when ripe it will turn orange, red then blackish purple. The fruit is very popular with bats and birds.


Characteristics of Sea Banyan Tree

Ficus superba Tree
Source : M Ralley

Sea banyan trees in the wild can reach heights of 35-40 meters. The higher the tree, the more aerial roots produced will spread to each side of the tree to a radius of 5-8 meters.

The sea banyan tree is very useful for binding to land on the beach as corrosion prevention. However, the tree is not recommended to be planted in the yard of the house or adjacent to the building. That’s because the roots of this tree can damage anything around it, including building foundations, walls, and even can lift asphalt and roads.


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